the purpose of study was to evaluate the impact of age on outcomes in colorectal cancer surgery.
patients on hospital database treated for colorectal cancer during the period 1995 – 2002 were divided into two groups: Group 1 – patients of 75 years or older (n = 154), and Group 2 – those younger than 75 years (n = 532).
In Group 1, for colon cancers, proximal tumors were significantly more common (23% vs. 13.5%, p < 0.05), complicated cases were more frequent (46 % vs. 33%, p = 0.002), bowel obstruction more common at presentation (40% vs. 26.5%, p = 0.001), and more frequent emergency surgery required (24% vs. 14%, p = 0.003). Postoperative overall morbidity was higher in the elderly group, but with no differences in surgical complications rate. Overall 5 year survival was 39% vs. 55% (p = 0.0006) and cancer related 5 year survival was 44% vs. 62% (p = 0.0006). Multivariate Cox analysis showed that age was not an independent risk factor for postoperative mortality.
Preoperative complications and co-morbidities, more advanced disease, and higher postoperative nonsurgical complication rates adversely affect postoperative outcomes after surgery for colorectal cancer in the elderly.